The research is clear: LGBTQ youth are at greater risk of suicide than their straight peers. Facebook recently announced that it will provide a new suicide prevention tool designed specifically for queer youth. Writing on the Facebook blog about the Messenger-based tools the company offers, global head of safety Antigone Davis says:
“People can talk in real time with trained crisis and mental health support volunteers over Messenger. Participating organizations include Crisis Text Line, the National Eating Disorder Association, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We are also happy to announce that we will be adding The Trevor Project, an organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. The option will roll out over the next few months. Anyone has the option to message the above organizations by going directly to their Facebook pages.”
The addition to this LGBTQ-specific suicide prevention resource is aligned with a new study showing that the most effective strategy for helping queer youth is to give them opportunities to connect with LGBTQ organizations and support networks.
Although The Trevor Project is aimed at preventing suicide in young people, the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 40 percent of transgender adult respondents reportedly made a suicide attempt during their lives, so Facebook users of all ages could certainly benefit from the helpful resource.
What you can do:
- Share about this new Facebook LGBTQ youth crisis support option in your networks and on social media.
- Help connect LGBTQ youth to organizations and supports designed especially for them, such as the Lambda Youth Project and the Pacific Center.
- Share LGBTQ-specific crisis resources including: The Trevor Project and Trans Lifeline.
For further exploration:
- Facebook teams with The Trevor Project to help prevent LGBTQ youth suicides (Mashable)
- Connecting People with Mental Health Resources and Building a Safer Community (Facebook blog post)
- How to Help Gay Teens Really Thrive (The Atlantic)
- New study shines light on how to ‘make it better’ for queer youth (ThinkProgress)